What We Hate About Our Last Day at Disney World

If you are a¬†Disney fanatic, nothing is more magical than clicking “Confirm” on a Walt¬†Disney¬†World¬†vacation¬†booking. Securing a¬†Disney¬†Park¬†pass, purchasing¬†Disney¬†Genie+,¬†and picking out your Minnie Ears for a¬†Disney¬†vacation. From dashing around¬†Magic Kingdom¬†and¬†Disney¬†Springs to exploring Animal Kingdom. From rising with the sun (with a cup of Joffrey‚Äôs in hand) for¬†early¬†theme Park¬†entry¬†to¬†ride¬†Slinky Dog Dash in¬†Toy Story¬†Land,¬†to shutting down the Parks in the¬†crowds¬†around¬†World Showcase¬†after watching Harmonious. There is nothing like a magical¬†Walt¬†Disney¬†World Resort vacation.¬†

Exterior at Night

Credit: dadsguidetowdw.com

But every Disney vacation has a dark side. The day you don’t even want to think about because the realities it holds are so horrible. That’s right, I’m talking about your last day at Disney World. You likely have your own list built from crummy experiences on your departure days from a Disney Hotel. Here is what we hate about our last day at Disney World. 

Related: First Disney Vacation Post-Pandemic? Here is What You Need to Know

Trudging Out of the Park


Credit: Disney

As a proud¬†Disney adult, I can‚Äôt even count the number of ‚Äúlast days” I‚Äôve experienced at Walt¬†Disney¬†World. The funny thing is, leaving never seems to get easier. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The older I get, the more I relish escaping to this beautiful world where¬†the¬†Haunted Mansion is the scariest thing I see all day, and snagging a Lightning Lane¬†pass for Guardians of the Galaxy:¬†Cosmic Rewind¬†is the most stressful experience.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

Credit: Disney

My husband and I always end the last day of our¬†Disney¬†vacation¬†in¬†Magic Kingdom,¬†so we can shut down the Park and enjoy the evening ambiance and views of¬†Cinderella Castle. Regardless of if your last Park day is in¬†Magic Kingdom, EPCOT,¬†Animal Kingdom,¬†or¬†Disney‚Äôs¬†Hollywood Studios, walking out at the end of your vacation is something I hate about a¬†Disney¬†vacation. And yes, I‚Äôm that teary-eyed lady you see hanging around¬†Main Street¬†U.S.A. after the “kiss goodnight” catching one last glimpse of¬†Cinderella Castle.¬†



Credit: Disney Dining

Nothing lets you know the Disney magic is gone, quite like arriving back at your Disney hotel and having to repack to return home. Regardless of how great you are at packing, sticking to the essentials, etc. you will (in my experience) always struggle to repack your belongings to go home.

Maybe your stuff multiplied since you unpacked, or maybe you are like me and took a Disney Springs shopping spree. Either way, returning to the Resort after a long day in the Parks to pack to go home is miserable. 


It’s always sad to leave Disney? #disney #disneyworld #distok #waltdisney #disfam #waltdisney

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Removing That Magic Band


Credit: Disney

Your beloved accessory that scanned you into the Parks, and admitted you to the Lightning Lane in¬†Toy Story¬†Mania¬†and¬†Expedition Everest, has to come off. That‚Äôs right, it‚Äôs time to return to the “real world” so it‚Äôs time to remove your Magic Band.

Many Disney fanatics personalize their Magic Band with stickers, decals, or slides. Maybe you purchased a custom, holiday, festival, or character Magic Band as a souvenir. The good news is you will be able to use it on your next trip to Walt Disney World. The bad news is, it’s time to remove it for now. 

Fighting Orlando Traffic 

freeway traffic

Photo Credit: News4Jax

The experience that drives me to tears after leaving the Parks — is battling traffic on the freeway after a¬†Disney vacation. If you drive to¬†Disney¬†World like my North Georgia family, you know the drama that Orlando traffic can bring. Here at DisneyDining.com we talk about the wait time that can be saved if you travel to Disney¬†World¬†outside peak season. That also holds true for lighter traffic during the less-busy times of the year.¬†

That said, real life often prevents my family from traveling during slower times of the year, so we are part of the interstate pilgrimage to Disney World on holiday weekends, Thanksgiving, and Christmas break when we are out of school and work. If you have ever driven up Interstate 95 on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, then you know the misery that is the drive back from a Disney vacation. This is definitely one of the things I hate most about the end of vacation.

Or Braving the Airport

orlando international airport mco

Credit: Orlando International Airport

Maybe you did not drive to Disney World. Leaving is still a pain and provides a jolt back to reality. After days of bliss at the Most Magical Place on Earth where transportation is plentiful, reliable, and free, you have to make plans to return to the airport and slink through security to your departure gate. Suddenly, the stress of the real world is on you again as you carefully plan what time you need to arrive at Orlando International Airport to make your flight. 

orlando international airport resized

Photo Credit: OrlandoWeekly.com

You navigate any connections, juggle luggage, and set up transportation from your home airport back to your actual home. In short, even if your travel day goes according to plan with no delayed flights, lost luggage, or general drama, it’s just not a fun experience. If you are anything like me, you’ll wish you were blasting off on Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios instead of flying home. 

Related: Disney has only ONE YEAR LEFT to build the Walter Elias Disney International Airport at Disney World

An Uncertain Return Date

Disney World Reservations

Credit: Screenshot Disney World Website

What we hate most of all about our last day at Disney World is when we don’t have a return date in mind. Die-hard Disney fans feel better knowing when they will be back at their favorite place. Even if that next trip date is farther away than you would like it to be, having a date circled on the calendar that you and your family can look forward to is such a morale booster.

The good news is, you can take care of this before your vacation ends. Pull out a laptop in your Disney Resort room to rebook for a future date, or head down to Guest Services for help from a Cast Member. We can promise this will make leaving Walt Disney World Resort just a little less sad. 

What do you hate most about leaving a Disney vacation? Is your Disney World pet peeve on this list?

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.